Ropes & Gray First Firm to Receive Ministry of Justice Permission to Open Office in Seoul

In The News
July 16, 2012
International law firm Ropes & Gray announced on July 16 that it is the first firm to receive permission from Korea’s Ministry of Justice to open a Foreign Legal Consultant Office in Korea.

“We are honored to receive this endorsement from the Ministry of Justice and look forward to serving our clients with their U.S. law issues,” said William Yongkyun Kim, the Ropes & Gray partner who will lead the firm’s Seoul office. “The fact that we are the first firm to be honored with this designation reflects the seriousness of our intent to expand our presence in Korea as soon as it was possible to do so.”

Ropes & Gray has now applied to the Korean Bar Association for registration, the final step needed before the firm can open its office in Seoul. On June 18, Mr. Kim was the first foreign legal consultant to be registered by the bar association.

On July 16, Mr. Kim accepted the firm’s certificate at a ceremony in Seoul. The Ministry of Justice announcement marks another important step in Korea’s initiative to open the doors to international firms—and it is an equally historic milestone for Ropes & Gray in its efforts to deepen its relationship with Korean businesses.

Ropes & Gray received another boost to its Korea efforts on July 16 when David Chun, a partner who focuses on intellectual property law, received preliminary approval of his application to be a Foreign Legal Consultant from the Ministry of Justice.

“I am honored that the Ministry of Justice has granted this initial review,” said Mr. Chun. “Ropes & Gray has been working with Korean businesses from our offices in the United States for more than 20 years, and the ability to open an office in Seoul will allow us to work more closely with our clients in their time zone to help them with their pressing legal issues.”

Ropes & Gray is an international law firm with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, London, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The firm has been recognized for its leading practices in private equity, M&A, life sciences, health care, investment funds, tax, intellectual property, litigation and white collar criminal defense.

In Seoul, Ropes & Gray will focus on practices of particular importance to Korean companies: corporate transactions, intellectual property, complex business litigation and arbitration, and U.S. government regulatory issues. The firm will only practice U.S. law, as dictated by Korea’s regulations governing international law firms.